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City of Light

City of Light

The Making of Modern Paris

A sparkling account of the nineteenth-century reinvention of Paris as the most beautiful, exciting city in the world

In 1853, French emperor Louis Napoleon inaugurated a vast and ambitious program of public works in Paris, directed by Georges-Eugène Haussmann, the prefect of the Seine. Haussmann transformed the old medieval city of squalid slums and disease-ridden alleyways into a “City of Light” characterized by wide boulevards, apartment blocks, parks, squares and public monuments, new rail stations and department stores, and a new system of public sanitation. City of Light charts this fifteen-year project of urban renewal which–despite the interruptions of war, revolution, corruption, and bankruptcy–set a template for nineteenth and early twentieth-century urban planning and created the enduring landscape of modern Paris now so famous around the globe.

Lively and engaging, City of Light is a book for anyone who wants to know how Paris became Paris.
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Genre: Nonfiction / History / Europe / France

On Sale: October 9th 2018

Price: $25 / $32.5 (CAD)

Page Count: 224

ISBN-13: 9781541673397

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"The demolition and rebuilding of Paris during the Second Empire was, then as now, a subject of impassioned disagreement.... [An] astute, gossipy history."—New Yorker
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"If you are heading for Paris...be sure to put City of Light in your bag...Rupert Christiansen's account of the destruction and rebuilding [of Paris] is masterly-vivid, dramatic...and ultimately tragic."—Sunday Times (UK)
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"Good reading for all lovers of the City of Light."—Booklist (starred review)
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"A concise yet admirably thorough account of the reinvention of one of the world's great cities...Engrossing."—Kirkus
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"A valuable contribution to modern French and urban history."—Publishers Weekly
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"Brisk, vivid, and unexpectedly stirring."—Mail on Sunday
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"Christiansen writes about the streets he clearly loves with wit and élan...Christiansen's splendidly illustrated book made this homesick expat look at Paris with new eyes."—Times
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"If you are heading for Paris...be sure to put City of Light in your bag...Rupert Christiansen's account of the destruction and rebuilding [of Paris] is masterly-vivid, dramatic...and ultimately tragic."—Sunday Times
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"Elegant and gorgeously illustrated."—Irish Independent
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"A history buff's must-bring Parisian travel companion."—France Magazine
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"Detailed.... Christiansen...looks back over this time of major upheaval whose results can still be seen today."—France-Amérique
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"In City of Light, Rupert Christiansen illuminates the tumultuous years of the Second Empire (1852-70) of Napoleon III who, in league with Parisian overlord, Baron Georges Haussmann, rewrote the script for what a modern city should be. Written deftly and with an unfailing eye for colorful detail, City of Light offers an insightful and heartfelt appreciation of the nineteenth-century origins of a world city."—Colin Jones,
author of Paris: Biography of a City
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Reader Reviews